Home » Spies » Intelligence Community Furloughs 70 Percent in Shutdown

Intelligence Community Furloughs 70 Percent in Shutdown

by Kris Osborn on October 2, 2013

CIAThe Office of the Director of National Intelligence says the ongoing government shutdown has resulted in the furlough of more than 70-percent of the intelligence communities’ civilian workforce, greatly impacting its effectiveness.

“Today, less than 30 percent of Intelligence Community employees are on the job and those who are working are stretched so thin that they are only able to focus on the most critical security needs,” Shawn Turner, DNI spokesman told Military​.com. “The longer this goes on, the more the Intelligence Community’s ability to identify threats and provide information for a broad set of national security decisions will be diminished.”  

The DNI oversees a 16-agency conglomerate of intelligence gathering agencies which includes the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and many more such as Army, Navy and Air Force intelligence gathering organizations.

In addition to the impact the shutdown is having on intelligence gathering, Turner also emphasized the potentially substantial impact to the intelligence community workforce.

“Beyond the impact the shutdown has on our mission, there’s a very real and significant impact on the lives of the men and women who serve in the IC. More than half of our current workforce joined after 9/11. They’re young people with young families living and working in the Washington D.C. area and if this shutdown goes on for an extended period, many of them will face challenges making ends meet,” Turner said.

The intelligence communities’ broad set of missions includes surveillance and reconnaissance, a variety of intelligence gathering operations, monitoring troop movements, assessing potential enemy military activity as well as locating and tracking potential plots against the U.S., among many other things.

With this in mind, one analyst said a large-scaled furlough of this nature is likely to have an impact on time-sensitive intelligence-gathering activities.

“Most intelligence is highly perishable. When you furlough 70-percent of the workforce, most of the others are doing critical minute-to-minute tasks. What can get lost is the intermediate stuff – like tracking things over a period of days,” said Daniel Goure, vice-president of the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based think tank.

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{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernard October 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

And they do all of this just because universal health care means they can't rake in the big bucks from all the health insurance companies funding them. Greed and corruption is going to destroy us if we don't vote these leeches out.

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Tom October 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Agreed!!! These big government liberals and big government republicans like McCain are disgusting… STOP supporting the general republican party and start supporting individual real conservatives like Ted Cruz.

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Musson October 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Bernard who do you think wrote the ACA? It was written by lobbyists and the Congress never even read it before they passed it.

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PolicyWonk October 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

The ACA was created by non other than the very conservative Heritage Foundation.

And the ultimate irony, was that before the current POTUS was sworn into office, you'd be hard pressed to find a GOP congressmen or senator that *didn't* support it.

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EW3 October 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

What planet are you from ?

Not one GOP member voter for it?
Where do you get your information from ?

Nanu Nanu

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@farmteaminfidel October 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

NICE TRY… ObamaCare's architects reap windfall as Washington lobbyists http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/318577-arc… ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010.

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@farmteaminfidel October 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hey Policy Wonk, care to explain your information? Max Baucus, author of Obamacare, admits he never read his own bill – http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/max-baucus

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blight_ October 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

This is not universal health care in the state-single-payer sense. The insurance companies are STILL THERE.

Obama is delivering the young-and-healthy to prop up the insurance base. I don't know if prices will really drop or not, since the insurance companies aren't obligated to pass savings onto consumers.

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Nadnerbus October 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

They will increase, almost inevitably. Since insurers have to accept people they would have previously turned away as too high risk now, as well as provide higher minimum coverage to everyone than they otherwise might have offered, they will pass on the increased cost to everyone else. And by everyone else I mean the healthy, working young people that don't consume much health care. That's my read on it, anyway. I don't see how you can provide more coverage and more services without increasing costs. Instead of socialized medicine through the government, we socialized it through private industry with the individual mandate.

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

Indeed, it's a tragedy that they have to accept high risk people. I wonder what those people did before.

In the long run, I can only hope it decreases the burden on the hospital systems. People using the ER and the hospital has to chase them down with bill collectors, especially since they are forced to treat people who come to them and absorb the cost if they aren't insured…in theoretically happyland if insurance participation rises, it might lead to more reimbursements for that subset of patients.

Ironically if this exchange business works out, it may lend credence to the privatization of Medicare…Reagan might be pleased with that one!

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@farmteaminfidel October 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

But this is not their end game. SINGLE PAYER is. And they need to drive up the costs of private health care to drive people off of it and force employers to dump their employees to the O'Care. This is just one more step in nibbling at our liberties and eroding the free market system.

Sen. Harry Reid: Obamacare 'Absolutely' A Step Toward A Single-Payer System – http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm

"force employers to dump their employees to the O'Care"

I thought the pro-business people were telling us that this was a good thing, if people would go out and buy their own insurance instead of relying on the company, who would be stuck with "healthfare queens".

Private insurance is already expensive, and this is before they kept pre-existing-conditioners off because the delivery of healthcare is expensive.

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JOhn moore October 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

And I bet few of us see any difference.

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Musson October 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I heard they laid off Edward Snowden!

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

Unless you're one of the families coming to Bethesda for clinical trials, and turned away because the NIH research hospital is shut down.

Across the street, the navy hospital is probably open…?

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Roger October 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

If the IC itself declares 70% of its staff as "non-essential", it would appear they are substantially overmanned. Simplistic, yes, but even if only half of that apparently unnecessary 70% were cut, it would be a significant savings……..

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cr9527 October 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

A car can function without a heater, stability control, abs, air bags, etc.
But does that mean we should own cars without them?

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Rest Pal October 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Actually many / most Americans should not be allowed to own or drive cars at all. The Earth is being ruined in a large part by America's recklessly wasteful and irresponsible use of cars.

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Musson October 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Have you given up your car? Or, are do you just want to take away other people's cars?

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Bernard October 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm

If this shutdown continues other's people's cars will likely be taken away by repo… :-(

Rest Pal October 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I'm not American (Thanks to my parents)!!!!

And I practice what I preach – I walk to grocery stores, daily or every other day whenever possible; I plan my trip so that I accomplish multiple tasks…

Frank October 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, and tongue are all "non-essential" for the functioning of a human being.

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tmb2 October 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Many of the people I saw furloughed yesterday I would consider essential, but someone has to draw the short straw. There is likely a document out there mandating a certain percentage of the workforce that must be furloughed or a maximum that can be kept on as essential no matter how much it hurts.

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Alaska_USN October 3, 2013 at 9:59 am
Alaska_USN October 3, 2013 at 10:00 am
Alaska_USN October 3, 2013 at 10:01 am
Alaska USN October 3, 2013 at 10:02 am
Alaska USN October 3, 2013 at 10:02 am
Alaska USN October 3, 2013 at 10:03 am
jack October 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Not too worry. The government always pays their employees for the time they are furloughed. Unlike the rest of us in the private sector.

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tmb2 October 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Not at all true. Most federal employees currently furloughed will not receive back pay for the time spent at home.

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Belesari October 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Everyone I have talked to who has been around these and other such things gets paid back after. Its in a lot of their union contracts.

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tmb2 October 3, 2013 at 3:09 am

The ones who are "essential" and still working will get paid. Right now they're working for free. The bulk of the population who are not at their desks are not getting credit for the work week.

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Rest Pal October 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

The black ops (assassinations, subversions etc) are not going to be affected. Only the jobs of security guards, receptionists, secretaries, and low-ranking office clerks and administrators maybe affected.

As the says goes: in a so-called democracy, the people always get the government they deserve.

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Rest Pal October 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

edit: As the SAYING goes …

damn me.

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Dilbert October 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

No worries, Fox News says this is only a "slimdown." /s

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

It's a binge diet. Government gets fatter at the end of a binge diet.

You lose, Americans!

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ken October 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Why should we be forced to accept ObamaCare when Obama and Congress are exempt from it????

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hibeam October 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

We are the little people. They are the royalty who abuse us. Hope that helps.

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PolicyWonk October 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm

You do have a point. My requirements are simple: I want the same single-payer government sponsored many congressmen say they detest – but none of them seem to refuse, or for that matter, give up after they retire.

Either they're the most selfless patriots on the planet, or otherwise the biggest and most pathologically dishonest on the planet.

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Bernard October 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Everything the people are subject to the government should be subject to. Regardless, people want ObamaCare, that's why he won the election twice. If we can afford F-35's, F-22's, etc we can afford basic health care.

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Guest October 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

US health care expenditures: 17.9% of GDP, 2011
(http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NHE-Fact-Sheet.html)
US defense expenditures: 4.7% of GDP, 2011 (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS)

Keep in mind that individual programs like the F-22 or F-35 are only a fraction of defense expenditures. Health care is much more expensive than airplanes.

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Bernard October 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm
Guest October 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm

DODBuzz, May 23, 2013:
"The cost of the U.S. Defense Department’s most expensive weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, declined by 1 percent in the past year to $391 billion, and lawmakers remain concerned about its software.

The estimated price tag to develop and build 2,457 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets includes $326.9 billion for air frames and $64.3 billion for engines, according to newly released figures from the Pentagon. The combined amount is $4.5 billion, or 1.1 percent, less than an estimate of $395.7 billion released in March 2012."
(http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/05/23/f-35-cost-dips-1-to-391-billion-pentagon/)

Also, that is the TOTAL cost of the program, not the amount spent in 2012.

Sword100 October 3, 2013 at 3:54 am

You are mixing apples and oranges – the figure for health care you used is what every one pays for health care not just the federal government. Believe figure is closer to 7% and is not surprising when one considers the huge bolus of baby boomers hitting the medicare rolls. Nice misuse of statistics to prove your point.

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Guest October 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm

The earlier poster described "affording basic health care." The statistic I quoted is what healthcare costs society. Why should I limit that to only the portion that are on federal assistance currently?

blight_ October 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm

They are? There's a section that mentions them in the ACA.

There's some confusing back-and-forth that adds the VP and P to the Congressional parts.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.J.RE

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blight_ October 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

4 SEC. 142. Section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Patient Protec-
5 tion and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18032(d)(3)(D))
6 is amended—
7 (1) by striking the subparagraph heading and
8 inserting the following:
9 ‘‘(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, CONGRES-
10 SIONAL STAFF, THE PRESIDENT, VICE PRESI-
11 DENT, AND POLITICAL APPOINTEES.—’’;
12 (2) in clause (i), in the matter preceding sub-
13 clause (I)—
14 (A) by striking ‘‘and congressional staff’’
15 and inserting ‘‘, congressional staff, the Presi-
16 dent, the Vice President, and political ap-
17 pointees’’; and
18 (B) by striking ‘‘or congressional staff’’ and
19 inserting ‘‘, congressional staff, the President, the
20 Vice President, or a political appointee’’;
21 (3) in clause (ii)—
22 (A) in subclause (I), by inserting before the
23 period at the end the following: ‘‘, and includes
24 a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Con-
25 gress’’;

The above is from when "the house recede from its amendments to the amendment of the Senate to the resolution…"

Which I think means

"This is an update of our update to the version that was passed to us from the senate."

So the House did indeed try to add P, VP, et al to the exchanges and such…

It was a poison pill. If the senate fails to accept, it looks like they are shielding the prez from Obamacare (why is he not on it in the first place?!). If he does accept, then the ACA is delayed for a year (and next year it will be delayed again, and again, and again…forever).

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blight_ October 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

From http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/18032

(D) Members of Congress in the Exchange
(i) Requirement Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—
(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or
(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).
(ii) Definitions In this section:
(I) Member of Congress The term “Member of Congress” means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
(II) Congressional staff The term “congressional staff” means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

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blight_ October 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

The house recede of its amendments of the senate on H J Res 59 included:

"`(iii) GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION- No Government contribution under section 8906 of title 5, United States Code, shall be provided on behalf of an individual who is a Member of Congress, congressional staff, the President, the Vice President, or a political appointee for coverage under this subparagraph.
`(iv) LIMITATION ON AMOUNT OF TAX CREDIT OR COST-SHARING- An individual enrolling in health insurance coverage pursuant to this paragraph shall not be eligible to receive a tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or reduced cost sharing under section 1402 of this Act in an amount that exceeds the total amount which a similarly situated individual (who is not so enrolled) would be entitled to receive under such sections.
`(v) LIMITATION ON DISCRETION FOR DESIGNATION OF STAFF- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a Member of Congress shall not have discretion in determinations with respect to which employees employed by the office of such Member are eligible to enroll for coverage through an Exchange.'."

(This is "EAH2", or Engrossed Amendment House2…H.J.RES.59.EAH2)

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Ruby October 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

The reason this looks especially kludgy, even for a House bill amendment is because it makes no logical sense. Congresspeople are Federal employees. Like most Federal civilian employees they are eligible for, and usually sign up for health insurance through FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits.) This is basically its own health care exchange and it's been around for decades. The Federal government pays a portion of their health insurance. JUST LIKE MOST EMPLOYERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. So, I don't get why all this talk of fairness and making Congress have the same things as ordinary Americans come from. The health insurance market in the United States is primarily employer-provided and employer-supported. I worry that if they exclude themselves from Federal health benefits, the next thing they'll do is turn around knock the entire Federal workforce off. That would not be so nice for us Federal civilian employees. A lot of us are Veterans, attracted to government service for the chance to continue to serve our country, and for the good benefits.

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 9:46 am

"(iii) GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION- No Government contribution under section 8906 of title 5, United States Code, shall be provided on behalf of an individual who is a Member of Congress, congressional staff, the President, the Vice President, or a political appointee for coverage under this subparagraph."

Kind of sounds like the government, as an employer would stop paying into FEHB for certain classes of employee?

Won't be long before companies start paying less and less into their employee's insurance…

Roger B. October 3, 2013 at 4:40 am

Research, educate, and vote. Don't be a dumb-shit, stand firm in what you believe in. Left or right, read all sides and form your own opinion.

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Dfens October 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

So for two whole days "freedom of speech" has been more than just some words on a moldy old piece of paper.

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Gator October 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Maybe if they quit spying on the Tea Party and the NSA stops recording all of us out here they just may have a little left over to pay our bills.

If Washington had to live by the laws they pass this would not be an issue. Can you say Elitist?

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hibeam October 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

“Today, less than 30 percent of employees are intelligent. "Thats why we need so many of em" a DNI spokesman explained.

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Rest Pal October 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

"less than 30 percent" is probably way too optimistic. We are talking about America here. I'd say less than 10 percent is intelligent.

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Kipperbeck October 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

When congress decided to integrate some of the military intelligence functions such as map and chart production, geodetic sciences supporting weapon systems, expanded GPS accuracy adjustments and other services supporting the military that was lumped into the Intelligence Community (IC), the IC grew in population. I would estimate the 30 percent of the IC that support military operations would be correct. Then add another 40 percent supporting the IC operatons such as administrative, finance, human relations and other 'back-office' support I could see that 70 percent may well be considered as non-essential. Hmmm, what was the ratio of noncombat support services to actual combat? One study I read regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom was 2.5 noncombat to 1 combat. Add in contract services and the ratio in the noncombat services increases.

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Michael October 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Michael October 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Martin Stewart October 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Only 70%?

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Jarhead October 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

After the job the IC did in Benghazi, I am beginning to feel safer with them gone.

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SFC+11 October 4, 2013 at 2:08 am

It WAS NOT THE IC that screwed up!! It was the State Department that screwed them!!

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Nadnerbus October 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I can't be the only one that sees this article and thinks "all right!" A year of this and we are starting to talk some real savings. The federal government hasn't had to do any real prioritizing of essential versus non essential since Eisenhower. Personally, I think something like this was long overdue. If only it was actually about government spending and waste as a whole rather than the specific spending and waste (and elitism) of the ACA.

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Guest October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Maybe this is an opening to shut down some of those NSA programs?

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HERKEY ANDERSON October 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm

barack insane obomber has intelligence?

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Sword100 October 3, 2013 at 3:41 am

Putin, the Nazis, and al Qaeda couldn't have done a better job of crippling our national defense than the Taliban Republican Party and their allies, the KKK Tea Party. Wonder if Putin is sending large contributions laundered by the Koch brothers? The world waits and wonders.

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Democrats R Bullies October 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

Typical liberal Democrat response. All the Democrats and liberals can do is bully the American people into submission of their power hungry, pick-pocket agenda, and then blame Republicans for all the problems when the Republicans actually call them out and stand up against the tyranny of the Democrats. Under Obama, and his "let's destroy America" agenda, it a surprise that I can even type this email without fear of retribution for wanting to exercise my GOD given rights. If this trend continues much longer, the liberals/Democrats will turn us into a completely suppressed and subjugated country under their dictatorship rule. "We will not negotiate", which basically means that he is going to do whatever he wants, no matter what it costs the country and its working class people. Obama won't stop until this country is 100% welfare recipients. Then he will have total control over every facets of our lives. And you have the nerve to call names? Just proves my point that the Democrats are a bunch of bullies. Their approach is, if you don't agree with us, then we are going to do everything we can to make you look like a bad guy. Taliban? Really? You should look in the mirror. I don't see the Republicans being uncivil and calling you a terrorist. It just proves my point. The degree to which the Democrats go on the defensive just illustrates that they will do anything (lie, cheat, steal, slander, name call, bully, threaten, stomp on your rights, stomp on the flag, take more of your money, reward laziness and incompetence, etc. etc) to gain power over, & control of the people and their resources. The democrats are simply greedy & power hungry. Heaven help us.

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femtobeam October 3, 2013 at 4:47 am

What a mess. The civilian workforce cuts were not discretionary, they were across the board % budget cuts first that affected them and now this. Who really knows the impact of all this?

It is amazing that Intelligence (whether misguided or not), is being "sacrificed" instead of the profiteers of Big Pharma and Medical Industry supplier costs, the main reason for high healthcare costs. The debate has been framed as between poor people needing healthcare versus government workers, instead of all against the Health Care Industry Mob. Next, you will see provisions being brought in to protect those controllers of our lives, (and now our Government) with immunity from prosecution as people's jobs are sactrificed for Cyber and Robotics endeavors.

The Dept. of HHS computers were unattended according to a huge banner on their website yesterday. Was this the case with DoD computers as well? In the middle of all these breaches?

The term "sitting ducks" comes to mind.

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bulldurham48 October 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

With their past and current records it might be an improvement. Intelligence and the military /contractor group have left alot to be desired as of the past 20 or so years. It took them over 10 years to find old Osama, and as for their performance during the middle eastern campaigns, well it specks for itself. The only real material they have gathered lately is on the American people, we have terrorist cells all over America and more forming ever day but can they find them? No our intelligence operations need to be completely rethought and redone and we need to get them looking for the real threats, no at Americans e-mail and cell records.

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intel October 3, 2013 at 6:17 am

It's amazing that a freshman from Tx can shut down the U.S. Government. Reminds me of the Bolshevik take-over, or Hitler's putsch, or Mussolini's class warfare… a radical minority can take down a giant to install a dictatorship. Follow the money to see who owns Rep. Cruz, whose war chest continues to be generously replenished by Koch Industries

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hibeam October 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

Funny thing, we call Obama and Reid the Koch brothers. But we spell it differently.

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blight_ October 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

What did you call it when the Dems had the house too (and Pelosi)?

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Amicus Curiae October 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

Precisely…how can a freshmen from TX shut down the government? Maybe you should consider other possibilities.

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ohwilleke October 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

The only thing less rational is that non-essential IRS employees have been idled. Obviously, that really helps the fiscal solvency of the federal government.

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Rhonda Riha October 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

It would help if all people did their jobs adquately, professionally and were held responsible for their mistakes. Greed for money makes corruption.

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M October 5, 2013 at 2:19 am
M October 5, 2013 at 2:20 am
M October 5, 2013 at 2:20 am
breitbart October 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Do away with DHS, allow Americans concealed carry, give back responsibility for personal safety to the individual citizen.

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Frank Libbon October 6, 2013 at 2:01 am

Here we go again. The uneducated commenting on things they have no real knowledge of. According to German news reports the BND (German Intelligence Service) passed
50 million emails to NSA monthly. Does anyone really believe that NSA has the capability of reading that volume of mail. What NSA did, was for the security of our Nation, and unfortunately totally blown out of proportion by the media. Stop spreading B.S.

One who served for 43 years in Army Intelligence

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femtobeam October 6, 2013 at 4:46 am

"Does anyone really believe that NSA has the capability of reading that volume of mail"

Raw data sent to Israel by the NSA – http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.washington

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Frank Libbon October 6, 2013 at 6:55 am

So what. Israel Intelligence, which has much less personnel that we do, also could not read 50 million emails. NSA is doing what is absolutely necessary to prevent another 9/11 attack on the United States. They are doing their job to protect fellow Americans. If we are attacked with a bomb containing spent Uranium or Plutonium. the public would scream for blood and blame NSA, the FBI, CIA, and every other government agency for failing to protect Our Nation.
bin Laden was directing al Quaida operations on his cell phone, which gave
our intelligence agencies the capability to track him, but went off the airways
when our media revealed that we were able to monitor his phone calls. He then resorted to using trusted human couriers to relay instructions. In this day and age, with madmen out to hurt us, and are really intent on obtaining nuclear
weapons, our intelligence must do everything possible to prevent attacks.
Some Americans are screaming like stuck pigs believing that so-called Big Brother might be reading their correspondence, but they would really scream
if we got hit with a nuclear weapon. Stop the panic and be reasonable and while your at it, ignore the B.S. coming out of the media.

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femtobeam October 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

The most important thing about intelligence is not having preconceived ideas. What panic? Why would you assume that by showing that it is not the NSA but rather Israel who is obtaining the raw data, that this has anything to do with being anti-gov or anti-NSA? The NSA is a branch of the military, the military follows orders. The policy behind those orders is not what the American people expect.

Data is mined by computers, not people. Once flagged, it is then interpreted by people (analysts). If the RAW data is filtered by Israel INSTEAD of the NSA, then Israel is screening the data, not the NSA. Also, if you are one of those who think that OBL (formerly CIA asset Tim Osman) was capable of mastermining the 9/11 attacks from his cell phone, I have a bridge to Russia I can sell you. You and everyone else connected with the pre and post 9/11 "panic", were obtaining their intelligence from Israel. Cheney said so in his book.

The real problem is not what you describe. It is protecting the US Government computers from hackers, especially the NSA. Now that HUMINT has been undermined in favor of SIGINT, it seems that understanding how that works is key to preventing all types of attacks. The US is no longer in the lead in this area as evidenced by the need now for UAV's to gather information over North Korea and the Chinese Satellite destroyer.

By the way, it is not just emails that are included in the collected RAW data as we all know. Now that the "pivot to Asia" has occurred and the critical weapons designs have already been stolen, it is time to drop the "broken record routine" and get on point.

I agree with you that it is necessary to be vigilant and much of the "hype" has been directed at the wrong target, the NSA. Even more so, it is a "divide and conquer strategy" of dividing Americans against one another, Americans from their European allies, and Americans from their Government. The wording of your response is confrontational toward American citizens, who have a right to know when their rights are being violated, no matter who is to blame. It is far too late now to talk about ignoring it, that is certain.

For some perspective on your concerns… http://www.google.com/url?q=http://vho.org/aaargh

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justjack October 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

43 years! That explains it

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Frank Libbon October 7, 2013 at 12:50 am

Explains what?

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guest October 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Explains your adherence to official propaganda despite widely known facts and well grounded arguments to the contrary.

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Frank Libbon October 10, 2013 at 12:32 am

Wrong, in fact very wrong. I was known as a Boat Rocker. and way back before you were born learned from a good decent Captain, who landed on Normandy beach and led his infantry company all the way across France into Germany, to have the guts to tell a superior officer he is wrong when he makes a decision that is wrong, and to also tell him the right way to get the job done. It did not always help my career, but I managed to survive. I don't listen to propaganda. I dig out the facts as I was trained to do, and only reported the facts, my friend. I strongly suggest you do the same before passing judgement on others. While you are at it, I also suggest you show your name when making comments instead of hiding behind a the word :Guest. It might then reflect some (?) validity to your comments.

Thomas L. Nielsen October 10, 2013 at 2:10 am

"….widely known facts and well grounded arguments…." –

Yet you fail to provide either.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Guest October 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

The way I see it: it is like the police installing a video camera in everybody's bedroom, recording all the time. However, they claim the footage can't be used unless they get permission later. It is an unacceptable compromise of personal liberty. 9/11, as bad as it was, didn't threaten the existence of American culture. The NSA programs do.

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Frank Libbon October 7, 2013 at 12:48 am

Nobody is installing video cameras in peoples' bedroom, except perhaps private investigators paid to monitor a man or wife;s activities when suspected of cheating
& having an affair with another man or women. Believe me, the government has more than enough to do to bother with such antics.

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Guest October 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm

– "Believe me, the government has more than enough to do to bother with such antics."

Like running drugs from Central America to the States? Or installing metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and electronic database of private communications? Yeah, got to get those done first before moving on to the more pleasurable tasks. The real owners of America sure know their priority, don't they?

Believe you? No, we don't. We know better. We know that the CIA and the FBI have used people private lives in extracting unwilling cooperation, such as fabricating false evidence and testimony against whistle blowers.

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frank libbon October 9, 2013 at 12:06 am

How do you know? Be explicit please.

Guest October 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Also, I think this might be the place for an Eisenhower quote: "We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."

In my mind, it isn't just a process of bankrupting in terms of money, but in terms of values.

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femtobeam October 7, 2013 at 4:31 am

Or this one…

A quote from the forward to “A Man Called Intrepid”, by Sir William Stephenson:

“Among the increasingly intricate arsenals across the World, intelligence is an essential, perhaps the most important, but it is, being secret, the most dangerous. Safeguards to prevent its abuse must be devised, and rigidly applied. But, as in all enterprise, the character and wisdom of those to whom it is entrusted will be decisive. In the integrity of that guardianship lies the hope of free people to endure and prevail.”

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 12, 2013 at 6:36 am

Or this one (which I consider to be the essential quote on freedom vs. safety), by Benjamin Franklin:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Frank Libbon October 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

By panic I meant that too many of our citizens have been led to believe, primarily by the media, that their mail is being read, which is not the case. You are absolutely right that the data is mined by computers and once flagged read by analyst. Sorry, but I spent 43 years in the business and not once did I, or the organization I worked for, get our intelligence from Israel. My job, and that of my subordinates, required us to get the information by ourselves. We were always completely separated and compartment even from other US Agencies. At a much higher liaison level their holdings were compared no doubt with our holdings. As for Cheney, he held up tubes intercepted from India to Iraq, claiming that they were intended to enrich Uranium, but he ignored the report from AEC scientists who flatly indicated that were not suitable for such use.
Cheney Lied. Of course, I included hackers, and as far as I am concerned those, like Snowden, who took an Oath to Defend the Constitution, and another oath not to reveal classified information, are TRAITORS and NOT Whistle Blowers, as some believe. NSA was doing their job-to protect the American people and our Nation from harm.

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Rest Pal October 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Wait a second, you admit that the intelligence business has been highly compartmentalized, and yet you claim you know for sure that there can be no other secret agency or group of people engaging in illegal espionage operations on the people?

Email interception by the government should not be tolerated, period. That they do not read every email is immaterial. It’s the system and motive that’s the problem.

The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. (US Const. Art. VI, Cl.2 – the Supremacy Clause). When the government engages in unconstitutional activity, oath not to reveal classified information about crimes must yield to the superior Constitutional duty to disclose it, just as federal statutes that conflict with the Constitution must be struck down.

Assuming you really spent 43 years in the business, you have showed us how little legal knowledge you have learned, and how you have utterly failed to become wiser.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
—- Abraham Lincoln

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Guest October 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

– "NSA was doing their job-to protect the American people and our Nation from harm."

That's pure unadulterated BS. The people need protection from the NSA and the current government as a whole, not the other way around. I don' t expect you to understand, since you spent 43 years in that dirty business.

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guest October 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Better phrase it as: "The people need protection against the NSA and the government as a whole."

There is no bigger threat to the American people than the US government itself, especially the network of agencies engaging in the rapidly expanding business of surveillance and espionage on the people of this country.

It's really sad that most people can't see what's coming.

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justjack October 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Does this mean I can talk dirty on the phone with my girlfriend and not have to worry that some NSA dude is listening in with a jar of vaseline in his hand??

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Frank Libbon October 7, 2013 at 12:39 am

Oh, if some Dude gets his "jollies" off by listening, let him, vasoline or no vasoline.
To each his own?????

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anthony November 26, 2013 at 7:28 am

We should know of all people like Snowdon whom lives in russia or siberia,had all his mail analized by the former KGB, and they decide wich to put in News when they want.They dont like triators of most people..

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Barbwire Bill February 27, 2014 at 4:12 am

As one who has witnessed the Federal government at work, across all fronts,from the White House, to the lowest field position, I would say that a 70% RIF, across all agencies,is long overdue.There is so much waste,fraud and abuse and millions of middle managers just shuffling paper to justify their existence, and stifling most useful invocation, that would be a threat to their positions, and mission be damned. I would say just deserts as their managers overlook this so throw them out,keep only those vital to our National Security and rebuild from there.
We have to start somewhere as we can not afford the statue quo any longer, so wake up and get real people. Our grandchildren will be paying off today's government dept so let us begin to get real NOW!
Besides technology can work the mission at much greater savings so many of these positions are outdated.
Nothing against those that served, of whom I am one, but time for a reality check is long overdue.

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Bernard October 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm
Bernard October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

You should limit it to what ObamaCare will cost since that is the topic of discussion. ObamaCare's costs are tiny compared our defense spending. If American citizen's can't get basic health care then no amount of weapons contracts is going to improve their quality of life. So when you put things into proper perspective, ObamaCare is very affordable.

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Guest October 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

That is the operating estimate over 55 years, not the cost in 2012 nor the cost of designing/building the whole fleet. How much will health care cost the US over 55 years?

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Guest October 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Well, Bernard, you didn't make that clear in your original post. Moreover, you continue to quote "lifecycle" costs for the F-35 over 50+ years, which is not a realistic comparison to the cost of the ACA. I have my problems with the F-35 program, and I think there are good things in the ACA. I just don't find your comparison convincing.

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Bernard October 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Alright, then we need a fair one to one comparison.

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mule October 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The vast majority of work done in the IC is done by non-uniform civilians (GS types) and a huge number of contractors. Very few of the analysts are military. That goes for at home and in war zones.

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guest October 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm

After 43 years in the spying business, you can't even do basic research using the internet?

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ames October 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Mr. Libbon, wouldn't you agree that people who work for the FBI, the NSA, the CIA are just human beings like everybody else? Have you not heard crimes committed by police officers before? or by those in the military, the FBI, and even Congress?

I would put it to you that not only do those working for the NSA, the CIA, the military, state and federal judiciary and police forces commit crimes, they are more likely to commit crimes and get away with it than the average folks. Because they have power and power corrupts.

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 10, 2013 at 2:12 am

"….you can't even do basic research using the internet?"

Expecting your opponent to provide the supporting evidence for your otherwise unsupported statements is not a sound debating strategy.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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guest October 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

empty bravado changes nothing.

You are not what you say you are; you are what you do.

Since you defend the NSA for its unfettered domestic espionage on everyone, you are a threat to the people.

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guest October 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

"widely known" what does it mean?

Wikileaks; Snowden.

You've got computer and internet access. Use it.

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guest October 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

If Frank Libbon really spent 43 years in the spying business, he should know about those matters, or at least has the wherewithal to find out.

As such he either knows it, or he doesn't. Either way, he's not worth debating with. The reason should be obvious for anyone with a modest measure of common sense.

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Frank Libbon October 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

guest, I am well aware, having taken the Oath to Defend the Constitution of the United States seven times during my service with the US Army for 43, defending your Right to Freedom of Speech, that Right does not give you authorization, to insult any other person, especially since you do not know who that person is, or what he did on the service of Our Country, proving to me something my Father long ago said, that: "There are more horses asses, than horses in this World. By the way, when and where did you serve.

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Frank Libbon October 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Guest,

I never said what I did in the Intelligence Field, and I sure as hell have absolutely no desire to debate with you, or those like you, whom former Secretary of State Dean Acheson aptly called "Primitives.." Grow Up

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 11, 2013 at 12:04 am

"….he either knows it, or he doesn't." –

….says the person who continues to provide no supporting evidence.

"Either way, he's not worth debating with." –

….says the person who continues to provide no supporting evidence.

"The reason should be obvious for anyone with a modest measure of common sense." –

Someone with a modest measure of common sense would not enter into a debate expecting others to come up with his/her supporting evidence.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 10, 2013 at 11:53 pm

So in other words: you still expect others to go and find your (supposed) "facts" and "arguments" for you?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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ames October 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Frank, no offense, but having taken the oath means zilch, and joining the army doesn't in itself means you are defending others' right of freedom. That's just slogans dirty politicians have been using to get people to join the military and help invade foreign countries at the bidding of the big defense and logistics contractors.

If you have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, then you have done more damage to the legitimacy and reputation of the US than the drug dealers on the streets.

You are not defending our freedom of speech; you are damaging it.

Finally, being a productive and conscientious civilian will do far more in serving the country than you in the military can understand and match, because you are in fact screwing this country up by working for the blood-sucking defense industry. The defense industry is not the same as America, understand?

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ames October 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Don't mean to bud in, but I'm with guest.

No one has the duty or is obligated in any way to spoon-fed ill-informed people.

guest mentioned Wikileaks and Snowden, which have been all over the media and are indeed widely known.

If you aren't familiar with them, it seems you (and Frank) are the problem. guest obviously has the facts already; he's merely asking Frank to do his own due diligence. I don't see anything wrong with that.

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ames October 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

LOL. guest is asking Frank to find out the truth for Frank himself.

I don't think guest is debating with Frank. It's more like lecturing. LOL.

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Frank Libbon October 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

As my Dad said, there are more horses asses than horses in this World. You are in essence saying that all those who had, and those that are presently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, are serving in vain. You forgot something, We, and those now serving, took the Oath to Defend the Constitution, meaning the People of the United States, and not Big Money, Not the President, nor the Congress – the People. Where in God's name did you come from?

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ames October 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Mr. Libbon, if you joined the military at age 18 and stayed on for 43 years as you claimed, then you are at least 61 years old now. You probably don't want to be quoting your Dad at the senior age of 61+.

You don't seem to be able to telling the difference between taking an oath, and acting in accordance with the oath. I understand that people in the military tend to be good at following orders but poor at independent, critical thinking. I guess that's probably why politicians and defense contractors like to use them so much.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were initiated in the interests of defense contractors, logistics and oil companies, and against the national interests of the United States. If you are retired, you might want to spend a few hours a day reading up on this.

The US military has been fighting for Big Money for a long time.

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Frank Libbon October 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Of course there are people in the organizations you mentioned above, who have committed crimes. You are absolutely correct, power does corrupt. I had at least three individuals who worked for me, two being mid-Grade Federal Civil Service, whom most people claim it is almost impossible to get rid of, that I FIRED, and a Senior NCO who lied in his reports, I also had cashiered out of the Army.
Let me be very clear. As an Operations Officer, it was my job to DIRECT, and not Monitor operations. I in essence dictated how and when my subordinates had to accomplish their missions and I gave every single one, not one, not two, but three chances to do their jobs right, and if they failed after3 chances, they were gone. I INSISTED they accomplish their jobs exactly as I Dictated
(My Way), and all knew,if they succeeded they would get the credit, and that I would take the blame for their failures. They also knew that I never asked them to do something that I hadn't done myself.
As to power-corruption, that is also true, not only in the military but in all walks of life. You should note how many high ranking officers, including those wearing stars, are being demoted, forced to retire, and being kicked out of the service, for sexual abuse and misappropriation of government funds. Such things were shoved under the rugs in the past, but not any more, and greater efforts are being made to eliminate these people from the service. It is ongoing and includes even those low ranking enlisted personnel who gang rape a female soldier in combat zones. I must however say that throughout my 43 years of service I met many, many kind, dedicated and honorable people-and they
were in the majority. There are, unfortunately, bad apples everywhere,and all of us must be vigilant to seek them out to get rid of them. One final note if I may. It is Not the soldier who starts a war, but the Politicians. The Armed Forces do not make policy, but only carry out orders. We should have never invaded Iraq, a country that could not and did not attack the USA, nor did Saddam Hussein have any weapons of mass destruction. In essence, those at the very top of our government LIED to the Congress and to the People, starting a war that cost us over 4000 KIA, over 40,000 wounded, and only God knows how many innocent Iraqii women & children were killed-all costing an estimated $2 Trillion which hasn't been paid yet. It was about OIL. BIG MONEY has corrupted Our Government., lobbyists dictate & even write the laws, campaign funds are really BRIBES-and therein lies the root of our national problems. Back in 1903 Teddy Roosevelt called BIG MONEY:: "Traitors to the People>" Hopefully, I have answered your questions Mr. Ames

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Rest Pal October 11, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Now that's an excellent post. I'm glad you see that the US government has been under the influence of BIG MONEY.

I'm of the firm belief that the current trend toward a high-tech police state started back in the 1960s, if not earlier.

The NSA, the CIA, the FBI and key federal courts were the first or among the first govt entities that BIG MONEY had infiltrated / compromised.

If I were a boss or strategist of BIG MONEY, I know I'd make sure to seize full control of those agencies. When you have the Federal Reserve on your side, it's a piece of cake, because every human being has a price.

Once that's accomplished, control over the entire electoral process, and hence government power, can be easily acquired or manipulated. It should be obvious to the perceptive observer that even the pool of candidates for high office has now been controlled to the point that it no longer matters who wins in a presidential election. And any "mistake" (out-of-line president who dares to defy BIG MONEY) can be corrected with a scandal-and-fall, or a couple of bullets.

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 12, 2013 at 6:28 am

By all means, bud in. That's what these discussion forums are there for :-)

"No one has the duty or is obligated in any way to spoon-fed ill-informed people" –

That is correct. It's also a strawman. We're not talking about “spoon-feeding ill-informed people”. We're talking about backing up your statements with verifiable sources. And of course, no one has the duty to do that either. Just as no one has the duty to take someone else's unsupported statements at face value.

And simply throwing up you hands and declaring anyone asking for evidence to be “ill-informed people” is (also) a very poor debate tactic.

“guest mentioned Wikileaks and Snowden, which have been all over the media and are indeed widely known” –

Exactly: “mentions” Wikileaks and Snowden. And considering the amount of information, evidence, BS, bla-bla, etc. out there regarding Wikileaks and Snowden, merely mentioning these is the equivalent of waving you hand in the general direction of the evidence and saying “it's over there somewhere, if you'd care to go and look”.

And we haven't even started on the credibility and possible interpretations of the Wikileaks and Snowden information. Which is where the supposed “well grounded arguments” come in. Or would have come in, if we'd seen any.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Thomas L. Nielsen October 12, 2013 at 6:31 am

“guest is asking Frank to find out the truth for Frank himself.” –

If that was the case, then no problem. However, read the above exchange:
Frank: "How do you know? Be explicit please."
Guest: "After 43 years in the spying business, you can't even do basic research using the internet?"

This is not “asking someone to find out the truth for themselves”. This is “making a statement and then, when asked to provide evidence, expecting others to find it for you”.

“It's more like lecturing” –

No, it isn't, since lecturers are actually expected to back up their lectures with facts and reference.

And honestly: About the LOLs? They don't work. They really don't.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Benja October 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Disagree. Snowden is specific enough. The whole case was about NSA spying. Wikileaks is a website devoted to classified material. You can search using keywords and operators.

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